In "The Future of the Image", Jacques Ranciere develops a fascinating new concept of the image in contemporary art, showing how art and politics have always been intrinsically intertwined. Covering a range of art movements, and thinkers such as Foucault, Deleuze, Adorno, Barthes, Lyotard and Greenberg, Ranciere argues that contemporary theorists of the image are suffering from religious tendencies. He suggests that there is a stark political choice in art: it can either reinforce a radical democracy, or create a new reactionary mysticism. For Ranciere there is never a pure art: the aesthetic revolution will always embrace egalitarian ideals.
JACQUES RANCIERE is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Paris-VIII, France. His books include Hatred of Democracy and On the Shores of Politics (both from Verso), The Politics of Aesthetics, Short Voyages to the Land of the People and The Nights of Labor.